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"Kick a nigger" comment unacceptable

Katherine Rich MP - Social Services Spokeswoman

24 March 2004

"Kick a nigger" comment unacceptable

National Party Social Services spokeswoman Katherine Rich is appalled that she has been accused of taking part in 'kick-a-nigger' month by the Northland Maori identity behind a new Maori television station.

"Hone Harawira is attempting to deflect scrutiny of important issues by calling it 'kick-a-nigger month'. "I think it is sick that Mr Harawira would use language like that to describe Maori. Language like that has no place in New Zealand.

"Some people may think they have licence to use this sort of language but it repulsive no matter who says it. "Mr Harawira is now trying to redefine his Maori television initiative as a 'community' station, but Community Employment Group papers clearly show that the $115,000 was 'to establish a Maori TV station in the Far North'. "In a speech he gave at a major broadcasting conference last November he even likened this project to the national Maori television initiative (MTS).

"Now that he is finding it difficult to explain why his regional station should get funding when other regional stations like Triangle, CTV and Channel 9 don't - he is resorting to spin. "If the project is something completely different then Mr Harawira has some explaining to do to CEG and taxpayers," says Mrs Rich.


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